Community Development

Duties

The Community Development Office facilitates the Neighborhood Assistance Program and Affordable Housing programs with guidance from the Affordable Housing Committee to ensure the following goals are achieved:

  • Create a suitable and safe living environment.
  • Expand opportunities for decent, safe and affordable housing

Programs

Affordable Housing - Workforce Housing Program

The Town of Bluffton has established the Workforce Homeownership Program to encourage the construction of owner-occupied workforce/affordable housing. The goals of this program are:

  • To create a livable, sustainable community with enhanced quality of life
  • To expand accessibility to quality, affordable housing options for infill development and redevelopment that preserves the Town’s culture, character and history
  • To improve the quality of existing housing stock by offering options for poor quality housing
  • To increase affordable workforce housing within the Town of Bluffton
  • To increase homeownership opportunities to low and moderate income families
  • To increase opportunities for homeowners to build wealth through equity by offering options to replace manufactured homes with permanent modular constructed homes

Neighborhood Assistance Program

The Town of Bluffton has established the Neighborhood Assistance Program to assist low and moderate income residents of Bluffton with property repairs and improvements that will help to increase the quality of life for all residents while creating a safer, more vibrant community that retains its character and provides for quality affordable housing. To qualify for assistance, applicants must have an income which does not exceed 60% of the area median income for Beaufort County.

For example, a gross income of less than $40,260 for a family of four would qualify for this program. View the more recent  Beaufort County Income Table (PDF).

Testimonial

Definitely helped me out in a time of need.

Neighborhood Assistance Program client, of Buck Island Road

Neighborhood Assistance Strategies Plan

In response to the housing needs identified in the Housing Chapter which is part of the 2007 Comprehensive Plan, the Affordable Housing Committee has recommended specific strategies to ensure a comprehensive and sustainable approach to the promotion of affordable and safe housing and quality neighborhoods. The affordable housing and neighborhood assistance goals, objectives, strategies and performance benchmarks can be found in the Neighborhood Assistance Strategies Plan.

Wharf Street Home Redevelopment Project

The Wharf Street Redevelopment Project included the demolition of two vacant structures and the construction of six affordable green cottages on approximately a half acre within the Historic District for owner occupied low and moderate income families. Funding for the Wharf Street Redevelopment Project was provided by the Neighborhood Stabilization Grant administered by the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority, a HOME Grant administered by the Lowcountry Council of Governments and the Town of Bluffton as well as many community donations and volunteer participation.

Recognition

The Wharf Street Redevelopment Project received Southern Living’s Best Community Revitalization Award in July 2014 for the Town’s ingenuity to provide beautiful, smart affordable housing in the heart of the Lowcountry.

To learn more about these programs, please email Victoria Smalls, Community Development Coordinator. 

Aging in Place Safely

A 2018 AARP survey on adults revealed that 75% of those aged 50 years and above prefer to remain in their homes or communities as they age. Hence, it is in their best interest that we make the homes they live in become safer and more accessible. Home modifications become necessary for them to adapt to their environment and enable them to age in place for as long as possible.

This resource has great information on fall prevention, room-specific modifications and long-term modifications inside older adults' homes for them to safely perform necessary activities of daily living, such as self-care, home management, and leisure.

Home Modifications for Seniors: Aging in Place Safely